- The pictures! There’s something off about the pictures he has sent! Oh no… He’s lying! And I have the proof!
Liz is about to send cash to Brian when she notices something odd with photos he shared.
‘Liz, I need your help and I don’t know who else to talk to. My father has just had a heart attack. He’s in hospital. I am really worried. I have no one else to talk to, just you. Please… can I call you.”
It’s a message from Brian and I am stumped as to how to respond. On the one hand, I would hate to be the person who abandons him when he and his father are truly in need.
On the other hand, there’s the fantastical story Fatma has just told me. What to do, what to do?
I chew my lip as I pick up the phone and decide to at least establish some facts. Brian answers on the first ring. “Hello?” he breathes into the phone. “I’m so glad you’ve called me. I was starting to despair.”
“Have you been crying?” I ask.
His voice breaks. “I mean… it’s just… it’s my father. I don’t know what to do, Liz…” his voice tapers off into a soft sob.
I feel my heartstrings ping ever so slightly. If he’s lying then he’s really quite excellent at it. “What do you need?” I ask gently.
He sniffs again and clears his throat, as if to compose himself. “The hospital says they need half a million [shillings] to continue treatment… He’s been in ICU for the past two weeks and the bills are just rising,” he only just manages to finish that last word before he breaks into a full-on sob.
Then, silence. Then he clears his throat again. “Anyway, I’ve called everyone I know and no one wants to help. Liz, I can’t just watch my father die…”
Oh, there goes my heartstrings. I understand exactly where he is. And… I believe him. “Half a million, you say?” I ask him.
He confirms the amount. “Ok, let me speak to the hospital tomorrow and I will wire what I can and see if I can fundraise for the rest.”
“No,” he says quickly. “You know not all of it is for the hospital. There are external caregivers who are also owed; I need to pay them independently.